If you’re seeking a restorative ride, a trip along the Youngs River loop will provide that and more.
Whether you drive or bike it, the roughly 22 mile ride along Oregon Highway 202 and Youngs River Road features the sounds of Youngs River lapping at the shore, picturesque views of Saddle Mountain, forests, farms and the critters that inhabit those places, like cows, deer, horses and a variety of birds.
Keep your eye out for eclectic finds, too. You might even see a fish-inspired mailbox.
It’s easiest to start your ride from Shively Park and head down Williamsport Road to join Oregon Highway 202 at the stop sign. From there you’ll turn left and ride along the edge of Youngs River. Once past the Clatsop County Fairgrounds, you’ll cross a bridge with a cattle guard — be sure to hold tight if you’re traveling by bike. You’ll traverse a few hills and tight bends with lush fields before seeing an old farm on the right side of the road, home to 46 North Farm. If you’re feeling hungry or need to quench your thirst, the Olney Saloon & General Store is just past the farm on the left side of the road.
Past the store, you’ll turn right onto Young River Road to continue the loop. Stay on the road until you reach an intersection in Lewis and Clark next to Clatsop Power Equipment. You’ll see one of many old hay silos and an old Christmas tree farm on the road. Cozy houses dot this section, too. The scenery changes as the forest thickens. You can see a tall lookout tower at the top of a hill. You’ll go up a few more steep hills before coming through more fields that offer views of the Astoria Column. Once you reach the intersection in Lewis and Clark, take a right toward Astoria and cross the Old Youngs Bay Bridge. You can head up Seventh Street or go back on Oregon Highway 202 and up Williamsport Road to Shively Park to finish your loop.
No matter the season, the Youngs River loop offers a bounty of scenes and smells to take in. Meadows and flowers in the spring. Summer’s sun and warm breezes with the scent of mud or cow manure (only in some spots). Fall’s leaves and crispness. Winter’s calm. Nature and Clatsop County history are all around. You’ll be glad you went.